Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

We celebrated Earth Hour in our usual idiosyncratic meander last night. Carl was in Michigan, Annie in Atlanta. I pulled the plug on everything I could think of except, of course, those plugs attached to clocks. I didn't touch those after a careful weighing of the following concerns: my desire to save the world v. my desire to live without hearing my husband complain about having to reset every clock in our home.

What, you think I could do the resetting? Well, I could. But the Master and Announcer of Time (truly, it is important for a radio guy) would probably redo the whole effort as my version of exact does not necessarily coincide with his version.

But I digress.

I pulled numerous plugs, lit a few candles, poured a rather large glass of Riesling, and grabbed a book to read by candlelight. Having just finished a good mystery (Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear), it seemed fitting to start on "Little House in the Ozarks: a Laura Ingalls Wilder sampler."

The warm, fluttery candlelight was lovely, though the necessity of same was mostly pretense. The streetlights of Oak Park provide sufficient illumination to read the contractual fine-print on a mortgage.

In the meantime, in my Home of Compromise, Jonathan sat in the den: lights out, candle lit, television on, computer humming, keyboard clicking, iTunes gurgling. Jonathan enjoyed his version of Earth Hour, too. He acquiesced to a time of relative silence (no iTunes, no tv, heavy on the keyboard clicking) and commented positively on the ambiance of candlelight.

Jon isn't big on silence, though. His chatter filled in the quiet spaces quite quickly. The few moments of total silence were deep, fluffy feather mattresses, into which I sank with no little joy.
Why are we so compelled to fill our days with sound?

Speaking of chatter, I enjoyed skipping around cyberspace this evening, reading the pros and cons of observing this Earth Hour. Arguments of this nature grow predictable: process versus product. Some believe we save next to no energy by this effort, as (if I understand this correctly) electricity is produced pre-need so what is not used is wasted. Others were equally certain that the effort would save energy overall because the process was thought-provoking, provoking some to permanent action rather than simple thought.

Me, I don't like empty gestures. But I'm rarely convinced that gestures are empty. And I do like dark and peace and quiet, the occasional reminder to not spend the remaining energy we have profligately, and honoring the notion that one person can make a difference. Particularly when you add 1 + 1+ 1 . . . .



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